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General

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and More

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes joint pain and inflammation. It is caused when the immune system fails to function properly and is able to attack the lining of joints, also known as the synovium. The most common affliction is the knees, hands, or ankles, and typically the same joint is found on either side, like both knees or both hands. Sometimes, RA creates issues in other areas of the body, too, including the eyes, the heart, the circulatory system as well as the lungs.

There are a variety of reasons why more females than males develop RA, which usually is diagnosed in the middle of the stage. A family member who has RA increases the chance of getting RA.

Causes

For a healthy person, the immune system defends against invaders like viruses and bacteria. In the case of an autoimmune condition, such as RA and RA, the immune system mistakenly interprets the body’s cells as foreign invaders and releases inflammatory chemicals that attack the cells. In RA, it targets the synovium, which is the cartilage lining that produces fluid that helps the joint move fluidly. The inflamed synovium gets larger and causes the joint to be tender and painful. It can also appear red and swollen as well as moving joints can be difficult.

Researchers aren’t certain why people suffer from RA. They believe that people be born with certain genes that are stimulated by triggers from the environment, like bacteria or viruses or emotional or physical, emotionally stressful stress, or another external cause.

Symptoms

In the beginning, patients with RA may not experience swelling or redness in the joints. However, they might experience tenderness and discomfort.

These symptoms can be a sign of RA:

  • Joint discomfort, swelling, tenderness, or stiffness lasting for six weeks or more.
  • Morning stiffness that lasts 30 minutes or more.
  • A joint in more than one could be affected.
  • Small joints (wrists and certain joints in the feet and hands) are usually the first to be affected.
  • Similar joints are present on the opposite side of the body suffering from this condition.

A large number of people suffering from RA are extremely exhausted (fatigue), while some suffer from an extremely low-grade fever. RA symptoms can come and disappear. Inflammation that is high and other symptoms are known as a flare. The duration of a flare could be weeks or even months.

Health Effects

  • Eyes. Dryness and pain, inflammation, sensitivity to light, and difficulty seeing clearly.
  • Mouth. Itching and dryness of the gums irritation or gum inflammation.
  • Skin. Rheumatoid nodules are small lumps under the skin that cover bony regions.
  • Lungs. Scarring and inflammation can cause breathing difficulties and lung diseases.
  • Blood vessels. Inflammation in blood vessels may cause damage to the skin, nerves, and various organs.
  • Blood. The lower amount of red blood cells.
  • Heart. Inflammation can cause damage to the heart muscle as well as surrounding tissues.
  • Joint pain can make it difficult for people to exercise and can cause weight increase. Being overweight can make those who suffer from RA more susceptible to developing diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Diagnosis

Making sure you have a clear diagnosis early enough can be the initial step in taking care of RA effectively. A doctor who has specialized training in the field of treating arthritis (called a Rheumatologist) is the ideal person to provide a precise diagnosis based on medical history, physical examination, and lab tests.

Medical background. The doctor will examine joint symptoms (pain stiffness, tenderness, pain, or difficulty moving) at the time they first started when they began, if they appear and go, what severity they are, what factors can make them worse or better, and if family members suffer from RA or some other autoimmune condition.

Physical exam. The doctor will be looking for joint pain, swelling, pain, reduced movement, bumps underneath the skin, or a mild fever.

Blood tests. The blood tests are designed to detect inflammation as well as the blood protein (antibodies) that are connected to RA:

  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR, also known as “sed rate”) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are indicators of inflammation. An elevated ESR or CRP in combination with other indicators of RA can help in diagnosing the condition.
  • Rheumatoid factors (RF) can be described as an antibody that are found (eventually) in approximately 80 percent of those suffering from RA. Antibodies against the cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) are detected in between 60 and 70% of patients with RA. However, they can also be present in those who do not have RA.

Tests for image.RA can cause the ends of bones in joints to wear downwards (erosions). An X-ray, ultrasound, and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan could detect erosions. If they don’t appear on the initial tests, it could indicate that RA is at an early stage and hasn’t yet damaged bone. Images can also reveal how well the treatment is working.

Treatment

  • Reduce inflammation to the minimum amount (put the disease in Remission).
  • Treat symptoms.
  • Help prevent organ and joint injury.
  • Improve your function and overall health.
  • Eliminate long-term issues.

To achieve these goals, the doctor must follow these guidelines:

  • The first, most aggressive treatment is to decrease or stop inflammation as fast as is feasible.
  • Remission targeting or another purpose (called “treat-to-target”) to treat a few or no symptoms that indicate active inflammation.
  • Control tight to reduce inflammation to the lowest level that is possible.

Collaboration with your physician to make sure you receive the right medical care is vital. However, you are able to do things on your own to control your RA and reduce fatigue and pain. Diet, exercise, smoking cessation, and mental well-being are all important to maintaining good health and managing RA. Find help in setting goals for your health and managing pain by using this free Vimapp.

Healthy Eating. A balanced, healthy diet that incorporates the recommended portions of all food groups promotes wellness and assists in helping keep the weight you want to maintain.

Daily activity. Even when you do not have the time Make movement part of your routine; take stairs instead of using the elevator. Parking in a location that requires you to walk a little to get into the building. You can take the longer route to an office meeting.

Balancing exercise with taking a break. It’s important to keep active during flares; however, rest is crucial in times when RA has become active. Joints are stiff, sore, or painful. Rest helps ease the fatigue and inflammation that may occur during an RA flare. Making breaks throughout the day can protect joints and conserves the amount of energy.

Cold and hot treatments. Heat treatments such as hot baths or heat pads are the best for easing muscles and joints that are stiff. Cold therapy is the best option for acute pain and swelling joints. It is able to numb painful regions and decrease inflammation.

The products are topical. These creams, patches, or gels help ease discomfort in joints or muscles. They may contain medicines that you will find from a pill, while other products contain ingredients that can cause irritation to nerves in order to keep you from discomfort.

Stress reduction and complementary therapies. There are different ways to relax and not look at the pain. These include meditation as well as deep breathing, and imagining images that make you feel good. Massage can ease the pain, ease sore muscles, and reduce anxiety as well as stress. Acupuncture is the practice of inserting needles into your body along certain points to alleviate discomfort. If you aren’t a fan of needles, acupressure employs more firm pressure.

Supplements. Studies show that curcumin/turmeric, as well as omega-3 fish oils, may help in relieving rheumatoid arthritis stiffness and pain in the morning. But, consult your doctor prior to using any supplement to discuss the potential side effects and the way it could interfere with other medicines you’re taking.

Positive Attitude and Support System. Develop a support system of family members, friends, and colleagues who are able to with emotional assistance. Make time for activities that you like to improve your spirits and will help ease the pain.

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